The constant challenge for Liam is to attach meaning - to anything. It's very easy for him to memorize facts, but meaning is illusive. I decided to take Liam's obsession with fonts and graphics and combine it with the search for meaning with his science studies.
We are using the BrainPop science films as a jumping off point for our science lessons. Last week, we covered classification and used a field trip to a pond to search for types of animals.
Seeing that Liam's favorite animal on the hike was a beetle, we started this week's lesson with insects.
To attach some meaning and interest to the lessons, I gave him the choice of creating a Word Document/Book or a Power Point Presentation with the title "I is for Insect." He chose Power Point. Each day, we added a page with some basic information about the insects we studied and then something that stood out to him about each section. He was allowed to copy and paste text, then we'd review it. For each slide, he had to do a Google Image search and choose an illustration. In the case of bees, we also found a cool video produced by a beekeeper.
Here are the final slides for the Insect unit:
Liam really hates flies and he has his own flyswatter.
Each day, we'd replay the entire slideshow and review what he'd added. I really like the way this turned out. I want to use this technique wherever possible.
Yesterday, I began his history text, The Story of the World, with the first exercise in the accompanying workbook on personal history. I pulled his baby book, my pregnancy book and all of the pictures I had of him in iPhoto. He thought the pregnant pictures of me were hilarious. I hope that'll come in handy next week, when we talk about mammals and live birth!
Today we started a new, stop motion/claymation camp on diy.org. He animated Bob the Minion counting backwards from 10 -1 in Minion speak. He opened the "Minion Translator" to be sure he had the right translation and used his stuffed and plastic Minions for character reference.
It's been a good first two weeks (Even though I almost missed a recording session one day, when I got caught up in re-writing the science syllabus). Somehow, we've managed to find our rhythm again.